In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, this is our second of many giveaways. We're having a drawing for a $25 gift card to California Pizza Kitchen, and in the coming weeks, we'll have similar gift card giveaways for more GF-freindly restaurants. Be sure to check back -- or better yet, enter your email in the box on the right to "Subscribe" to our blog feed and get emails when we publish a new post. Now, for the low-down on CPK's gluten free pizzas and details of how you can enter our Giveaway...
Back in October, I had the pleasure of visiting California Pizza Kitchen's test kitchen in Redondo Beach, California, just as they were getting ready to roll out their new gluten free pizzas nationwide. The four gluten free pizzas -- Margherita, Pepperoni, The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (CPK was the original creator of this one!), and Mushroom/Pepperoni/Sausage -- were all equally delicious. I'm not even typically a fan of BBQ Chicken Pizza (don't know why...I just prefer BBQ in other forms), but I loved their version of the pizza.
Aside from being gluten free, here are some of the ingredients that make their pizzas so special:
THE ORIGINAL BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA – Featuring CPK's legendary BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, red onions and cilantro. (Optional add on: Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon)
PEPPERONI -- A combination of rustic and spicy pepperoni with fresh Mozzarella and wild oregano. (Optional add on: White truffle oil)
MUSHROOM PEPPERONI SAUSAGE – Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, torn basil, Mozzarella and wild oregano. They call it “MuPeSa” (mup-suh) for short.
MARGHERITA – With Italian tomatoes with fresh Mozzarella, basil, and Parmesan cheese.
Best of all, you'll be thrilled to hear that, after a prior introduction of GF pizzas that didn't go so well years ago, California Pizza Kitchen worked for many months with the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) to reduce any opportunities for cross contamination, from manufacturing to storage to preparation. GIG and CPK continue to conduct regular, on-site inspections and audits to ensure all guidelines are being met.
During a more recent visit to a California Pizza Kitchen here in northern Virginia, I also noticed the introduction of some Salads and "Small Plates" labeled gluten free on their "regular" menu. I tried the Asparagus and Arugula Salad, but their gluten free Petite Wedge Salad and White Corn Guacamole and Chips sounded equally as tempting. I'll have to have one of those next time...all these "Small Plates" are the perfect size to whet your appetite before digging into one of their delicious gluten free pizzas.
There are other gluten free items on their menu, including six full-sized salads and entrees such as Cedar Plank Salmon, Fire-Roasted Chile Relleno, Grilled Chicken Chimichurri, and the Quinoa and Arugula Salad. You'll find a handy "Allergen" chart on CPK's website, and you can get more information -- including direct links to CPK's Gluten Free Pizza Menu, locations, and Facebook page -- on our website.
DETAILS OF OUR $25 GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY...
Have you tried any of the gluten free offerings at California Pizza Kitchen? If so, Submit a Review of the location you've dined to GlutenFreeTravelSite, and you'll be entered into our random drawing for a $25 CPK Gift Card. If you haven't yet tried CPK's gluten free menu items, you can still enter the contest...just choose another favorite GF-friendly restaurant to review on our website. Any gluten free dining or travel review submitted to GlutenFreeTravelSite between now and Sunday, May 11 at 11:59 pm Eastern time counts as one entry in our random drawing for the $25 Gift Card. (We accept reviews of restaurants, hotels, resorts, cruises, bakeries, markets, and even colleges!) Submitting a review is easy and just takes a few minutes...simply click the Submit a Review link above and follow the prompts from there. (Please do not leave reviews in the Comments section below...but you may leave other general comments.)